Parking Changes for Fall – Are You Ready?

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Parking Map Image

The gravel parking lot on Raggio, south of the Vista Building is closing. New parking areas are opening to the east of the main Dandini parking lots and in a roadway dog leg. Click to enlarge.

Attention: September Update

The new Dandini Campus shuttle service, "Lizard Transit Authority," serves those who park in the new overflow lots to the far east and southeast (dog leg) lots. Shuttle riders will be dropped off at the north side of the Red Mountain building near the RTC Route 15 bus stop.

Hours of service: Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and will pick up passengers approximately every 5 minutes from each of three locations. The shuttle includes two vans, seating approximately 12-20 passengers.

Shuttle services are tentatively scheduled to end in late September 2015, but changes may occur; watch for updates via email, Facebook, and the TMCC website.

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Original Story:

Imagine you’re running late for a 9:30 a.m. class at TMCC’s Dandini Campus because there was this lost out-of-stater driving in front of you really slowly, looking for the right turnoff.

You get to campus at 9:21 a.m. and the parking lot is full to the brim, and the overflow lot south of the Vista Building is closed off with fencing and orange cones.

It’s 9:22 a.m. Desperation sets in. Since you have a high-clearance vehicle, you momentarily think to jump the curb and park over that broken-off sagebrush. Wait ... don’t do it, you think.

"The catalytic converter on the exhaust system gets pretty hot, which can ignite dry fuels,” said Chief William "Sandy" Munns, Coordinator for TMCC’s Wildland Fire Training Program. "Fuels are dry, even after fire season is over. Live vegetation goes dormant in the fall. It may not start a running brush fire, unless the wind is blowing, but could burn up the vehicle. It’s best to park only in paved areas or those that are cleared of vegetation."

Maybe a fiery vehicle isn’t a good way to make that first impression.

Then, you wonder why the overflow lot is closed. Turns out that it is not because a really big name politician is coming to town for a top-secret election rally.

The reason is that Northern Nevada is growing economically, and that is a good thing for creating new job opportunities.

Why is Parking on the Dandini Campus Changing?

"TMCC students will no longer be able to park in the gravel lot on the south side of Raggio Parkway, (south of DRI) west of the NOAA office,” said Justin Broglio, Communications Officer at Desert Research Institute (DRI). "Desert Research Parks, Ltd., which manages the Dandini Research Park that includes the lot and the surrounding land, is pursuing a regional economic development opportunity that will utilize the lot in the coming months."

Now, you see bright signs pointing toward a new overflow parking lot to the northeast of the Facilities Operations and Capital Planning Building.

Oh My Gosh, Now Where?

Driving east to the big roundabout after passing the NOAA sign, you take the roundabout exit by the Facilities Building, up a short hill, and spot the newly-leveled overflow parking lot down a little way ahead of you.

At 9:24 a.m. you consider maybe zipping ahead of the student juggling 16 heavy books about to cross the driveway. But you rethink it.

In the Reno area, there were 107 collisions between pedestrians and vehicles in 2014, as reported by the Reno Police Department — yet not one car struck a single walker on the campus of TMCC that year.

"There are approximately 3,000 vehicles that come and go at any given busy period at TMCC," said Dan Johnston, TMCC Police Lieutenant. "There were fourteen accidents on campus in 2014 and none of them in 2014 involved a pedestrian. Everything is going great here. We can keep this up."

[Editor's Note: Map of new overflow lot appears to the top right of this article.]

"Students will be able to park on the street in the cul-de-sac to the east of the TMCC campus and the NOAA office," Broglio said. "However, no overnight parking or off-street parking will be allowed in this temporary space."

It turns out that the student with 16 books is in the Personal Trainer Program, lifts weights in the TMCC Fitness Center, and sprints across the road before you have time to finish your thought.

Tips from TMCC Police to avoid traffic headaches and stay safe

At 9:26 a.m. you pull into a parking spot between a red Miata and a 1968 vintage Mustang.

TMCC Police provide these helpful tips to keep you running on time and safe:

  • Tip one: Give yourself plenty of time.
    "The first three weeks of the semester are extra busy on campus roadways, so leave early and give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going," said Josh Reynolds, Sergeant TMCC Police. "There is always the unexpected and you want to be aware of red zones and motorcycle parking to avoid getting a ticket or citation."
  • Tip two: Be aware of where you park and notice the nearest sign with a letter designation.
    "The campus lots can sometimes seem confusing at first, and students sometimes forget where they are parked, worrying that their vehicle has been stolen," Reynolds said. "Know a good route to each lot, so you can find different lots, or find your car after class."
  • Tip three: Lock your vehicle and take any valuables with you.
    Don’t leave items visible within your vehicle. Sergeant Reynolds said that there have been vehicle thefts. Someone interested in breaking into a vehicle will first look at cars that aren’t locked.

You walk faster, relieved that, yes, you did remember to lock and check both doors.

And then at 9:29 and 30 seconds, you slip into your desk, relieved that this Music Appreciation 121 class is the one you’re most looking forward to out of all the classes you have ever taken.

For more information about parking and safety on the Dandini Campus, please call TMCC Police Department of Public Safety at 775-674-7900.